Alaska 2014: Hotel Budget Zero

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jfman, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. advmoto66

    advmoto66 Ride On!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,852
    Location:
    Dirt Bike Nirvana Phoenix, AZ
    :lurkIn
    #81
  2. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    Springfield, OR.
    Keep it coming.

    Just a little tip.
    This might be one reason your gear is getting wet.
    [​IMG]

    The ground cloth under your tent should not stick out beyond the edge of the tent.
    #82
    802mike likes this.
  3. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    Thanks,

    The tarp is used not for rainy days but on rocky terrain only to cushion the soil.
    #83
  4. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,759
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Great report. I made an Alaska trip last yr. fun to relive parts of it.
    Turns out (for me) riding alone was a little better.
    Thanks for posting. :clap
    #84
  5. doc_simple

    doc_simple Meat popsickle

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    P-Town wit da hipsters
    awesome pics, looks like a great place to get lost in for a bit
    #85
  6. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,821
    Location:
    High Point, NC
    Great ride report!

    Mike
    #86
  7. tq r11s

    tq r11s Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Central Calif
    Great write up. Thanks for sharing.
    #87
  8. sandgroper

    sandgroper Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,565
    Location:
    Wanneroo, Western Australia
    thanks for the pictures of Valdes, our short trip to Valdes includes crossing of Thompson pass at 0200 seeing snow for the first time, a few hours sleep in Valdez and north again in the fog. Thanks again for showing us what we missed.

    Ed
    #88
  9. Strokizator

    Strokizator Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Cincinnapolis, Pennsyltucky
    We must have been a few days behind you. Kept hearing from everyone about this guy Fernando on his little 250. It's nice to be able to put a face to the name. I'll be heading back again some day to pick off some of the places I missed the first time around. The scenery is nice but it's the people you actually meet there that is the most memorable for me. It's something you have to experience for yourself.
    #89
  10. GAP

    GAP Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    173
    Location:
    Montreal
    Wonderful story!
    Jealous.
    #90
  11. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,637
    Location:
    LEON, Gto. MEXICO
    Great!

    :clap
    #91
  12. vinnard

    vinnard Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Central Cascades, WA
    Awesome ride report! I'm happy there are still posts to come :clap
    #92
  13. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    DAY 20 (Clumsy goes fishing)

    Is this what a balanced breakfast is supposed to look like?

    [​IMG]

    After this bite Frederico and I go sip coffee at a restaurant on the harbor.
    Reminder for you kids: Don't drink and drive!

    [​IMG]

    Right next door to the restaurant is the tackle shop. I go there to buy a daily fishing permit (think 20 or 30 bucks) and rent fishing gear(10 or 20 bucks). I left out the bait part because I learn inside that you don't fish salmon there by baiting but rather by snagging. You use a treble hook with a weight and you just quickly reel the line back in to catch a fish from the side.

    We arrived at the spot on Dayville Road ready for business.

    [​IMG]

    We were dazed because it looks very different at low tide. Now look closely at the picture below:

    [​IMG]

    Fish to the right of the rocks=Guantanamo Bay or death penalty, fish to the left of the rocks=hugs from uncle Sam. Of course we arrive there and everyone is fishing to the right where all the fish are.

    When in Rome...

    [​IMG]

    Before we go any further: Do not be fooled by the pictures of fat tasty salmons: I am truly the worlds worst fisherman, or was at least the worst fisherman in Alaska that day. At first the locals were laughing, then when my castings became... stronger... the locals were.. worried... then scared. After about a dozen castings, for some reason I had all the room I needed to get the job done. In the spot you see above you catch a salmon at almost every casting. Everyone is catching fish at will but we all just do catch and release because the day is young we want fresh fish for dinner.

    Here is my new friend with his first catch and release.

    [​IMG]

    We are having too much fun. The main problem I am having because of my "technique" is that my treble hooks get caught on ropes or rocks and I lose them. After an hour someone comes from the hatchery and yells at everybody so we go fish in the approved zone.

    Fishing then becomes hard. Well at least for me. I start losing more hooks and now that we are further away the sea lions are scoping our catches and we gotta keep an eye on them. As cool as they were the day before; they are true assholes.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a local gal showing us how it's done.

    [​IMG]

    I manage to get a catch here and there but not easily like before.

    [​IMG]

    That treble hook isn't one of mine. At that point I has lost all mine and I had to look around to find stray hooks.

    At this point the tide is coming up. I only have 3 salmons but we have to go. Frederico is smarter than I am so forces me off the fishing spot before it's totally flooded.

    [​IMG]

    With our dinner in a cooler we run to Safeway for some supplies. While I am in there Frederico runs into MrHicks, a rider from Spain we had met back in Anchorage.

    Of course we invite him to the feast. We ride back to the river on the other side of town but we cook away from our campsite to avoid bear problems at night.

    [​IMG]

    Frederico has found some metal racks a local store was throwing out; a perfect makeshift grill.

    Salmon so good; we all eat right off the fish as it is cooking. Best g-damn salmon I ever had.

    [​IMG]

    Life is good

    [​IMG][/
    #93
    greatbeard likes this.
  14. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    DAY 21 Chicken

    Travel tips for this part: Border crossing at Top of the world closes at 8pm

    Maybe other travelers will agree with the following statement. This is the worst day of the trip; it is the day you wake up and you have to add up all the miles you need to do get back home in time.

    Frederico and I leave the Mineral Creek trail for one last time.

    [​IMG]

    We go back to Mike's Palace because the World Cup is on and Argentina, Frederico's home team, is playing the Netherlands in the semi-finals. I am not much of a soccer fan but Frederico explained a few things to me. Such as..

    If the game goes into "penalties" you have to watch the game no farther than 16 inches away from the tv and shout Spanish cuss words if the ball changes direction.

    [​IMG]

    Argentina did win that game. Frederico stayed in Valdez that day but I hit the road with the plan to go to Dawson, Yukon to check out the town and have a few drinks there.

    Near Glennallen, I stop to take a few snapshots of this little airport.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A little later, as I pull into Tok, I don't believe my eyes. Right there on the corner of AK1 and AK2 are Paul and Lucie, the nice couple from BC I met in Anchorage! So I stop to chat with them for a little bit.
    Great folks!

    [​IMG]

    After this I hit the road north towards Dawson.

    I did not get many pictures but I can tell you that the stretch between Tok and Chicken is a sweet ride. It is all paved but there are some spots where the pavement is a little rough. Decent views and curves combined with zero traffic make this a road where I am very happy on the Versys.

    [​IMG]

    Mandatory Chicken sign picture.

    [​IMG]

    I learn at Beautiful Downtown Chicken that the border crossing is about to close. So there will be no going to Dawson that evening.

    [​IMG]

    View from inside the bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I ended up spending the night in Chicken. I am now a little behind on schedule so I will have to cover a lot of miles the day after.
    #94
  15. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    992
    Location:
    Lakewood, CO , USA
    :clap:clap:clap
    #95
  16. hunter306

    hunter306 Original DOT C2 Reflective Decal Guy!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Awesome RR so far, thank you for sharing. Would like to partake in a similar trip!
    #96
  17. itspossible

    itspossible never far enough

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Great RR, I'm off that way next year and have marked some of the camp spots that you found. thx

    Ron
    #97
  18. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,934
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    Thanks for the the comments guyz!

    DAY 22 (Iron butt through YT - 960 miles in 21 hours)

    Travel tip for this part: Beaver post on the AK Highway / Cassiar junction has 24h gas (card lock)

    Top of the world highway

    [​IMG]

    It's all dirt north of chicken...

    [​IMG]

    That statement is only half true

    [​IMG]

    Looks like I will have to come back with a Kawasaki Concours next year.

    [​IMG]

    After crossing the Canadian border I pull over for a few pictures.

    [​IMG]

    This view is why the call it the Top of the World Highway I am guessing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the ferry to Dawson City

    [​IMG]

    Dawson: The day before I was dreaming about alcohol and a toe but I had to settle for coffee and breakfast sandwich.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks like I have plan B if my credit card maxes out.

    [​IMG]

    Where I am from, we have a lot of Tremblays

    [​IMG]

    After leaving Dawson, I stop at the foot of the Dempster

    [​IMG]

    The weather is perfect for a pass; the road is calling my name; if only I had a little bit more time.

    [​IMG]

    I chat with some fellas from Switzerland that are about to undertake the haul to the Arctic circle in their rig.

    [​IMG]

    You need to keep a few reasons to come back...

    On my way to Whitehorse I stop at a gas station to fill up and since the bike is running a little hot I go out back to hose the caked mud off the radiator.

    Back there I see folks are drying mushrooms, or are they truffles?

    [​IMG]

    Apparently they are worth a lot of money and you can make some coin picking wild mushrooms up there.

    In Whitehorse I go to Canadian Tire for supplies and I hit Boston Pizza for dinner.

    A mural in town

    [​IMG]

    About an hour south of Whitehorse I see a lake so I go check it out.

    [​IMG]

    A little further down the road I stop to awaken the dead at this moonlit graveyard.

    [​IMG]

    Yukon hot rodding at it finest

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I arrive the top of the Cassiar its past midnight. I am lucky and there is cardlock at the gas station there. I will be able to ride a good part of the Cassiard at night and avoid the construction stops that slow me down during the day on my way up.

    Sorry for the low quality of the pictures: my night shooting skills are lacking.

    This is the moon, not the sun.

    [​IMG]

    The weather is right at the freezing point. Rainy days aside I don't remember being this cold on this trip.

    [​IMG]

    Around 3 am; I cant see the sun yet but its effects on the views make my camera happy.

    [​IMG]

    Remember this place? I pushed thru the cold and the fatigue because I wanted to camp at the Kluachon lake boat launching spot again. (pictures taken the next day btw)

    [[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #98
    smilin jack likes this.
  19. CamelBill

    CamelBill Ride It!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    674
    Location:
    St. Chuck, Mizery
    Love your style and your pics. Plan to make it to AK in the next year or two, so loving this report, as i'll be traveling in a similar style :freaky
    #99
  20. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,160
    Location:
    Ohio
    That's a sweet way to see Alaska and a nice ride report. Thank you so much for sharing...:clap:clap:clap